First of all, Senator Richard Lugar does a good job explaining why I didn’t vote for him in his concession speech. Here’s the part I found especially revealing.
If Mr. Mourdock is elected, I want him to be a good Senator. But that will require him to revise his stated goal of bringing more partisanship to Washington. He and I share many positions, but his embrace of an unrelenting partisan mindset is irreconcilable with my philosophy of governance and my experience of what brings results for Hoosiers in the Senate. In effect, what he has promised in this campaign is reflexive votes for a rejectionist orthodoxy and rigid opposition to the actions and proposals of the other party. His answer to the inevitable roadblocks he will encounter in Congress is merely to campaign for more Republicans who embrace the same partisan outlook. He has pledged his support to groups whose prime mission is to cleanse the Republican party of those who stray from orthodoxy as they see it.
This is not conducive to problem solving and governance. And he will find that unless he modifies his approach, he will achieve little as a legislator. Worse, he will help delay solutions that are totally beyond the capacity of partisan majorities to achieve. The most consequential of these is stabilizing and reversing the Federal debt in an era when millions of baby boomers are retiring. There is little likelihood that either party will be able to impose their favored budget solutions on the other without some degree of compromise.
This is why Lugar is part of the problem. I do not want my representatives in Washington compromising with bad policies. I want them to fight for Conservative values and policies. It is no good to meet halfway, people who are leading the country off a cliff. I do not want to slow the progress of the US towards Socialism. I want us to change course and go back to limited, constitutional government. Lugar seems to want agreement for the sake of agreement. That won’t work anymore.
Mourdock’s victory is attributed to TEA Party activists and particularly Freedomworks. There is a lot of truth to that but there is more to it. The remarkable tumbling of incumbents all over the country is really the result of more people paying attention to politics and getting involved. The Internet and social media have lowered the barriers of entry, so to speak, and many of the old rules no longer apply. I think that American politics is going to become somewhat more volatile. I don’t think we are likely to see one party in control of Congress for thirty or forty years anymore, nor will either party have some sort of lock on Presidential elections
I hope that this is the end of the idea where a person gets elected to congress and then is automatically elected term after term until he holds that seat by some sort of divine right. It really doesn’t take long for politicians to become acclimated to the Washington culture, and if we can’t have term limits, then we need to pay close attention to what our representatives are actually doing and get rid of them when they get too comfortable.
I see that the mainstream media has wasted no time in portraying Mourdock as an extremist. Here are parts of the editorial in the Louisville Courier Journal.
More likely, though, is that Republicans like Mr. Lugar are becoming an endangered species in the radical, take-no-prisoners direction his party is headed.
No, forget “headed.” It has all but reached its destination of a my-way-or-the-highway road block. It is no coincidence that Mr. Mourdock was backed by what once would have been a triumvirate of the GOP fringe — Palin/Bachmann/Santorum — that’s taking over the party’s landscape.
So, exit Mr. Lugar, who was judged wrong by tea partiers and others on this election cycle’s hot-button issues:
He was pilloried for seeking bipartisan solutions to the nation’s challenges.
He was criticized for supporting the qualified Supreme Court nominees of President Obama — indeed, for not putting enough daylight between himself and the chief executive whose initiatives the GOP has made its mission to stonewall and all but shut down. He was thumped for supporting economic measures that saved the country from falling into the abyss of a depression.
Yes, I want the GOP to stonewall and shut down as much of Obama’s policies as possible. I believe that Obama’s policies, if successful, will do a lot of damage to the country. Why would I want my representatives to help him? This idea that Obama’s stimulus package saved the country from a depression can never be proved, as it is a hypothetical. What we do know is that the President spent a lot of money we don’t have, with no tangible results.
Also overlooked was Mr. Lugar’s longtime record of principled, conservative stewardship. But his steady-as-he-goes style and substance — “A gentle, thoughtful, persuasive, persistent but wise course of action is a winner,” he has said — clearly doesn’t play with a crowd that follows a leader that crows, “The message to the establishment is, ‘You’re our servants. We’re the masters. Do what you’re supposed to do, adhere to the Constitution or we’ll fire you” (Greg Fettig, founder of Hoosiers for Conservative Senate, in politico.com).
Well, yes. I guess it must seem extreme and radical to the main stream media that our representatives should obey us and not the other way around. That is a concept called democracy. Maybe the editors of the Courier Journal have heard of it.
I think that it is odd that people as far to the left as Barack Obama and Nancy Pelosi believe the TEA Party is too extreme. I think that the TEA Party could best be described as center-right. Most TEA Party organizations focus on economic issues and take positions that might be considered as common-sense conservative. They tend to avoid divisive social and culture war issues. The Left favors same-sex marriage, unrestricted taxpayer-funded abortion on demand, a government takeover of whole sectors of the economy, confiscatory taxation, and many other things considered anathema by the majority of the American people. Who are the crazed radicals then?